Understanding Trans Autistic People’s Experiences of Accessing Gender-Affirming Care
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Researcher bios and how their research backgrounds relate to this study
Kai Jacobsen (they/them) is a Master’s student in the department of Sociology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. They are trans and autistic themselves. Their research supervisors are Dr. Kelly Fritsch and Dr. Dan Irving.
Purpose of this research project
Trans people are much more likely to be autistic than the general population. However, research indicates that trans autistic people experience significant barriers to accessing gender-affirming health care, such as restriction, delays, and denial. Gender-affirming care (GAC) refers to medical interventions such as hormones or surgeries that are intended to help affirm or express an individual’s gender. Further research is needed to understand the extent of these barriers, their impact on trans autistic people’s lives, and how trans autistic people cope with or overcome these barriers. This research will address these questions using qualitative interviews with trans autistic people. The research seeks to understand: What are trans autistic people’s positive and negative experiences with accessing gender-affirming health care? What are the impacts of these experiences on trans autistic people’s lives? How can gender-affirming health care providers better support trans autistic people?
How this research will help LGBT2SQ people and communities
This research will identify barriers experienced by autistic people seeking gender-affirming care, as well as identify promising practices and recommendations for gender-affirming health care providers to better serve their autistic clients.
Participants must be 19 years of age or older; autistic (with or without a formal autism diagnosis), and have accessed (or tried to access) gender-affirming care in Ontario in the past 5 years as an adult (while age 19 or older).
Participants will receive $40 for completing an interview.
The interview is not expected to be a distressing experience. However, talking about negative health care experiences may result in distress or negative emotions for some participants. To support participants, all participants will receive a list of resources, such as crisis lines and peer support programs for trans and autistic people, in case they want to talk to someone after their interview.
Promoting the Study
The call for participants is being shared on social media groups aimed at trans and autistic people, as well as being shared with organizations that serve autistic and trans people in Ontario.